Parthenon readies sale of Trinity Life Sciences

The anticipated sale process comes fresh on the heels of GHO Capital’s recent $700m-plus bet for another life sciences strategy consulting business, ClearView Healthcare Partners.

Parthenon Capital is preparing a sale of Trinity Life Sciences, a global life sciences strategy consulting business, according to multiple sources familiar with the firm’s plans.

Jefferies and SVB Leerink have been engaged for sell-side financial advice, sources said. A formal process is expected to launch later this quarter.

Parthenon, a prolific investor in growth-oriented healthcare, fintech and business services companies, invested in Trinity in March 2018. Baird advised Trinity on the previous process. 

Led by CEO Dave Fitzhenry, Trinity provides commercialization strategy and data-driven analytics services, ultimately helping life sciences companies bring products to market. It offers comprehensive end-to-end analytical and strategic support to early-stage companies as well as tools and solutions for larger, more established life sciences clients, according to its website. 

The company’s 2021 EBITDA is projected to surpass $50 million, sources said. 

During Parthenon’s more than three-year-long hold, the company has built out its offerings and grown geographically, in part through M&A.

Trinity’s third and most recent acquisition under Parthenon came in December, when it bought New Jersey-based BluePrint Research Group. With the deal, it deepened its global brand commercialization efforts, while adding a London office to its global footprint as well as boosting resources in India and the East and West Coasts of the US. The combined entity boasts 500 employees with ten offices across three continents, an announcement said at the time.

Before that, Trinity in 2019 bought Bell Canyon Consulting, through which it created a new combined offering to address critical gaps in the market for improved data management and reporting. In 2018, it snapped up TGaS Advisors, the leading benchmarking and advisory services firm for commercial organizations in the life sciences industry.

As its strategic M&A playbook indicates, Trinity has looked to differentiate with technology; Around one-third of the company is considered tech-enabled, generating recurring revenue, one source noted. 

The company is expected to garner significant private equity interest, sources said, particularly after fellow market player ClearView Healthcare Partners recently locked down a buyer in GHO Capital Partners. The Houlihan Lokey-run process for ClearView produced a deal ultimately valued at approximately 17x EBITDA, which implies a valuation around the ballpark of $730 million, PE Hub wrote. 

Based on where ClearView traded hands, 17x EBITDA is considered the floor at which Trinity expects to trade, sources said. Further, PE firms that participated in the ClearView process and have already done significant diligence in the space are likely to pivot and dig into Trinity, sources predicted. 

Broadly speaking, companies like Trinity and ClearView – which can be likened to a Bain & Co. or McKinsey & Co. exclusively for the life sciences industry – are considered an outgrowth of the massive levels of funding going into drug development. At the same time, consultancies, being a people business, have a certain level of risk given one’s asset can walk out the door, sources acknowledged.  

Parthenon, with offices in Boston, San Francisco and Austin, invests in mid-market companies with enterprise values of $75 million to $750 million. The firm in December 2019 closed its sixth buyout fund with more than $2 billion in commitments, exceeding its initial target of $1.5 billion.

Parthenon has also been growing its investment bench, with Dan Killeen joining the firm as a principal and a senior member of its healthcare team in June.

Parthenon, Trinity and Jefferies declined to comment, while Leerink did not return PE Hub‘s requests for comment.